Rank #1: Episode Twenty-Six: Niall Matter
Niall Matter grew up on a dairy farm and worked on oil rigs until an accident forced him to confront the fact that he really wanted to be was an actor. Fast-forward a few years, and Niall is living his dream. He played a bad-boy genius on Eureka and a bad boy inventor on Primeval New World. In recent years, Niall has become a go-to leading man in the Hallmark realm. He portrays a college professor named Nick Miller in the Aurora Teagarden movies, acting opposite Candace Cameron Bure (Full House) – and earlier this year, he won the Leo Award for Best Lead Performance By A Male in a Television Movie for Frozen in Love. Niall spoke with Sabrina Furminger about his remarkable origin story, working in sci-fi and on the Hallmark Channel, and why he considers himself a member of the crew first and foremost.
Oct 01 2019
Rank #2: Episode Thirty-Four: Kathleen Hepburn & Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open is a film not easily forgotten. The Vancouver shot feature was written and directed by Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, and follows two Indigenous women who are strangers to each other – Rosie, portrayed by Violet Nelson, and Aisla, portrayed by Elle-Máijá – and the 100 minutes they spend together one rainy day in East Vancouver. Their story is told in real time, and it is at once intimate and infinite, a meditation on womanhood and motherhood and class and colonialism and how can we support each other across the vastness of individual traumas. The film had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, won awards at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival, and it was recently acquired by ARRAY, the distribution company helmed by Ava DuVernay who took to Twitter to describe the film as a gem with the most emotional film title she’d ever heard. In this special episode, Kathleen and Elle-Máijá join Sabrina Furminger to talk about honouring and sharing this important story, depicting trauma onscreen without re-traumatizing anyone involved, and how to collaborate without losing your individual voice.
Oct 28 2019
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Rank #3: Episode Forty-Seven: Christian Sloan
Christian Sloan voiced Dr. Richard Strand, a brooding, brilliant, and charismatic paranormal investigator (who purported not to believe in anything paranormal) on The Black Tapes. The narrative podcast was a cross between The X-Files and Serial, ran for three seasons, and was downloaded more than 80 million times. The Black Tapes made something of a global star of Christian’s voice, while also affording the actor behind the deep and moody voice some level of anonymity – which is bonkers, because, as podcaster Rebecca Lavoie recently tweeted at Black Tapes co-creator Paul Bae, “No one has ever looked like his voice as much as this guy!” Christian is also an in-demand on-camera actor who inhabits his (often bad guy) roles like a chameleon. He played the over-the-top Lord Triangle Badevil on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. He brought the creepy to his criminally short guest turn on Riverdale. He’s stolen scenes in The Murders, Mech X-4, Hell on Wheels, The 100, and Critters: A New Binge – and these last few weeks, he’s brought his special, brooding charisma to the role of Witchfinder Ayura on See. The Apple+ series takes place in a dystopian future where the human race has lost the sense of sight, and society has had to find new ways to interact, build, hunt, and survive. In this special episode of the YVR Screen Scene, Christian talks about Dr. Strand, Witchfinder Ayura, and Lord Triangle Badevil. He talks about the challenges he’s faced keeping a level head in this difficult business – and he’s got a very special message for fans of The Black Tapes. Episode sponsor: Fish Flight Entertainment
Dec 10 2019
Rank #4: Episode Thirty-Eight: Sachin Sahel
Sachin Sahel’s first name means “truth” in Hindi, and he drops a helluva lot of “sachin”/truth in this special episode of the YVR Screen Scene Podcast. Sachin has played Dr. Eric Jackson on The 100 since its first episode. He grew up nerdy and brown in Edmonton, Alberta, loving Superman and building himself up whenever bullies tried to tear him down (which they did, a lot). In this at once poignant and uproarious episode, Sachin speaks with Sabrina Furminger about loving Superman, how positivity is a muscle, why he’s done running from his culture, how The 100 responds to hopelessness in the cultural zeitgeist, and his efforts to battle toxicity in fandom.
Nov 07 2019
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Rank #5: Episode Forty-One: Omari Newton
Omari Newton is a storytelling powerhouse who straddles the screen and theatre worlds as an actor (Continuum, Blue Mountain State), producer (The Shipment), playwright (Sal Capone), voice actor (Marvel Super Hero Adventures), and teacher. Social justice issues are central to Omari’s work in the arts, and he writes about social justice issues – and how they intersect with the entertainment industry – for YVR Screen Scene. His columns have delved deep into the attempted job shaming of The Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens, white privilege in entertainment, on-set bro culture in the wake of #MeToo, why your Black friends cancelled Liam Neeson, and the complete list of people who can shut the f*ck up about Megan Rapinoe. In this candid and wide-ranging interview, Omari reflects on speaking out about diversity and representation in a country that doesn’t always know how to talk about either, why voicing Black Panther is so important to him, and how his ideas around success have changed since the beginning of his career. Episode sponsor: Liquid Amber Tattoo and Art Collective
Nov 19 2019
Rank #6: Episode Twenty-Two: Briana Buckmaster
Briana Buckmaster is known around the world for playing Sheriff Donna – a funny, flawed, donut-loving, insecure, whip smart, and fiercely loyal law enforcement offer – on the juggernaut hit television series Supernatural. In her first Supernatural appearance, Sheriff Donna’s body fat was sucked out of her by a lipo-lovin’ monster, and in her second, she was fat-shamed by her ex-husband. Fans first fell head over heels for the super-relatable Sheriff Donna, and then they fell in love with Briana, who uses her social media platforms and convention appearances to explore super-relatable topics like women’s bodies, fat shaming, and self-worth, thus sparking life-changing, uplifting conversations. Briana and her Supernatural cohort Kim Rhodes have harnessed this energy into the #WaywardAF movement, raising boatloads of money for charity. In this contemplative and regularly hilarious episode, Briana talks about what it means to be #WaywardAF, about postpartum depression, about finding and using her voice, and about the impact that her Supernatural experience – and Sheriff Donna in particular – has had on her life. Stick around after the episode to hear a track from Briana’s first full-length album, Begin.
Jun 13 2019
Rank #7: Special Episode: Luvia Petersen and Jessie Robertson
Luvia Petersen is a ride or die friend of the YVR Screen Scene Podcast – and of artists all across the land. Luvia is all about lifting up other artists; she does this through her film projects (like the one she just directed: Happiness, which was funded by the Harold Greenberg fund), and she does this through her business, Liquid Amber Tattoo and Arts Collective, which hosts monthly art socials and is currently looking to feature artwork that showcases the film and television community. It makes sense that Luvia is married to someone as similarly rad and artistic and supportive as Jessie Robertson. Jessie is a photographer, musician, witch, and the force behind Witches of Vancouver: Coming out of the Broom Closet, a photo documentary project. In this special episode of the YV Screen Scene Podcast, Luvia and Jessie talk about witches, the joys and challenges of being married to an artist, Star Trek: Voyager versus Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and why they want your art. Episode Sponsor: Liquid Amber Tattoo and Art Collective
Nov 29 2019
Rank #8: Season Finale: Sharon Taylor
For Sharon Taylor, doing The Work has often meant kicking ass – literally. For years, the thespian and martial artist has been the prototypical action actress, kicking ass on numerous projects around town, including Stargate Atlantis where she played fan favourite Amelia Banks, and Ghost Wars, SyFy’s severely underrated horror series on which she played a mortician who tangles with Vincent D’Onofrio. But in recent months, Sharon has been challenging that action actress label, proving to audiences, casting directors, and herself that she’s just as capable as bringing the dramatic feels and laughs as she is at kicking ass. In this entertaining and sometimes freewheeling conversation with Sabrina Furminger, Sharon reflects on that “action actress” label, as well as her recent roles on the Kim Coates crime drama Bad Blood and the top-rated comedy Jann (on which she plays Jann Arden’s ex-girlfriend) and the 52 marriages proposals she’s received via DM.
Jun 20 2019
Rank #9: Episode Twenty-Nine: Agam Darshi
Agam Darshi has worn a lot of hats in her award-winning career in film and television: actress, director, writer, and film festival producer. Agam played Kate, a kickass former con artist, on Sanctuary, and she played undercover cop Khali on CTV’s action drama Played. She’s got a couple of Leo Awards on her mantle: Best Supporting Performance by a Female in a Feature Length Drama for 2012’s Crimes of Mike Recket, and Best Guest Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series for Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. In 2013, Agam wrote and directed Fade Out, a short film about an aging starlet struggling with self-doubt on the night of what should have been her triumphant comeback premiere – and a few years later, she followed up with Burning Point, a one-woman theatrical show in which Agam played a wealth of characters of her own creation.
In this illuminating interview with Sabrina Furminger, Agam reminisces about the characters she’s played (and the characters she wants to play and write in the months and years ahead), how the industry-wide conversation about on-screen representation is affecting her work in the biz, and the impact that becoming a mother to twin boys has had on her art.
Oct 10 2019
Rank #10: Episode Forty-Six: Jason Bourque
Jason Bourque is the Indiana Jones of the Vancouver film and television industry. He’s a filmmaking adventurer who has traveled far and wide to bring his breathtaking stories to the big screen. Jason spent four months in Doha, Qatar filming Medinah, the world’s first Arabic and English science fiction series, and traveled to Mumbai, India to film several key scenes for Drone, his 2017 subversive political drama that starred Sean Bean and Patrick Sabongui.
Jason didn’t go quite as far for Black Fly, his 2014 thriller about a pair of brothers, one of whom happens to be a serial killer, but it was no less atmospheric – and being an in-demand director of television movies, he’s had to bring his director’s toolkit to all manner of exterior locations all over the Lower Mainland. Jason is also a busy producer who has several projects cooking at the moment, including Godrey, an independent starring Cleopatra Coleman, Nick Thune, and Iliza Shlesinger, and not one but two Telefilm features, including one directed by friend of the podcast Shannon Kohli.
In this compelling interview, Jason talks about blowing up a car in India and staging a murder in the GVRD, the issues faced by Canadian directors who want to direct on American productions, the dangers of having an argument within Jason’s earshot, and what it was like to grow up next door to a serial killer. Episode sponsor: Fish Flight Entertainment
Dec 05 2019
Rank #11: Episode Twenty-One: Johannah Newmarch
One of Johannah Newmarch’s first roles was an episode of 21 Jump Street where her character asked Johnny Depp’s if he wanted to “get it on” – and shortly after that, she left the acting business for nearly a decade. Johannah says now that she needed to walk away from acting in order to really commit to it – and in 2001, she felt able to do just that. Since then, Johannah has shone in dozens of roles in big budget and indie projects, including Smallville, Supernatural, Motive, Polaris (for which she won the 2014 Leo Award for Best Performance by a Female in a Web Series), Gracepoint, and multiple Garage Sale Mystery films. Johannah played the Big Bad in the second season of Netflix’s Project Mc², she plays Molly Sullivan in Hallmark’s hit family drama, When Calls the Heart – and this holiday season, you’ll be able to see her working her sharpened claws and sky-high heels as the evil step-mama in A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish. In this engrossing and often emotional interview with Sabrina Furminger, Johannah talks about walking away from the biz, her profound love for the #Hearties, how she deals with dark nights of the soul, playing Doc Holliday in Last Stand to Nowhere, and how to pronounce her name.
Jun 11 2019
Rank #12: Episode Thirty: Simon Barry
Simon Barry is an award-winning writer, director, producer, and showrunner whose greatest hits include Continuum, a Vancouver-shot and set time travel crime procedural, the post-apocalyptic vampire series Van Helsing, the scary and bonkers and completely underrated Ghost Wars, and Bad Blood, a searing crime drama based on the notorious Rizzuto crime family of Montreal. In this fascinating and informative episode of the YVR Screen Scene Podcast, Sabrina Furminger ventures inside Simon’s giant brain to find out how he births all of this compelling screen material. Simon lays out his career origin story, previews his next project – the highly anticipated magical fantasy series Warrior Nun, which he shot in Spain earlier this year – and explains why Ghost Wars wasn’t given a real chance to find its audience.
Oct 15 2019
Rank #13: Episode Thirty-Two: Loretta Walsh
with a knack for subverting audience expectations and splaying her emotions all over the floor. Loretta’s filmography includes stand-out roles on Bates Motel, Psych, and the award-winning independent feature film Down River, and she’s built a fanbase around the world for her portrayal of feisty Florence Blakeley on the Hallmark Channel’s hit family drama series, When Calls the Heart. In this illuminating interview, Loretta reflects on coming from away, building a career (with an Australian accent) in this tumultuous business, battling fear, and her love for Hearties and Dolly Parton.
Oct 22 2019
Rank #14: Episode Thirty-Six: Viv Leacock
Viv Leacock is beloved by fans around the world for two very different but equally entertaining roles: Fincher Garland in the Hailey Dean Mystery movies starring icon Kellie Martin, and Gripps, a member of a quartet of bonkers vampires known as the Rowdy Three – think about that math for a second – on BBC America’s cult favourite series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Although Viv is an accomplished actor (his long list of credits includes Loudermilk, 2012, and When We Rise) and experienced stand-up comedian, he eschews both labels in favour of “entertainer” – and he learned a lot about how to entertain people from his dad, as well as during the four months he spent working with one of his idols, Eddie Murphy, on 2002’s I Spy. In this wide-ranging interview, Viv talks about growing up Black in Canada, racist roles, watershed conversations with his West Indian dad, his time on the comedy circuit, his Dirk Gently audition story, and why the character of Fincher Garland is so close to his heart.
Oct 31 2019
Rank #15: Episode Forty-Three: Karen Lam
Karen Lam is a fearless and trailblazing maker of films that terrify and horrify. Her films include Evangeline, a feature about a naive college student who is brutalized by a gang of thrill-seeking killers and is then revived by an ancient demon spirit that empowers her with a blood-lust for vengeance – and the upcoming The Curse of Willow Song, which will bring the real-life horror show that’s the Vancouver housing crisis into the horror genre. Earlier this year, Karen premiered her short film Sandra Oh, Inspiration at the 2019 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala in Ottawa, where Sandra received the National Arts Centre Award. Karen’s film featured actors from traditionally marginalized communities inhabiting roles in live action tableaus inspired by A Clockwork Orange, Carrie, Gone With the Wind, and Star Wars: A New Hope. In this fascinating and at times irreverent interview, Karen talks about making scary films, growing up metal and Asian in small-town Manitoba, Sandra Oh, and being a living, breathing contradiction. Episode sponsor: Fish Flight Entertainment
Nov 26 2019
Rank #16: Episode Thirty-Five: Gabrielle Rose
Gabrielle Rose sits in the pantheon of Canadian acting legends. Her impressive filmography features iconic fare like The Sweet Hereafter, Maudie, Robson Arms, and The X-Files. Her list of stage credits is equally lengthy and includes farce, tragedies, and multiple characters (including Ethel Rosenberg and a rabbi) in the Arts Club’s 2017 production of Angels in America, and the Electric Company’s multimedia spectacle The Full Light of Day. She’s won numerous awards, including five Leos and UBCP/ACTRA’s Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award. In 2007, Women in Film & Television Vancouver named her Woman of the Year. Gabrielle has played all manner of emotions and character arcs in all manner of screen and stage projects, and she’s developed productive and nuanced creative partnerships with filmmakers like Atom Egoyan and Bruce Sweeney. In this poignant and at times raucous conversation, Gabrielle speaks with Sabrina Furminger about her journey from her hometown of Kamloops, BC to the pantheon of Canadian acting legends, and the many colourful characters she’s played and met along the way. Episode sponsor: Liquid Amber Tattoo and Arts Collective
Oct 29 2019
Rank #17: Episode Forty-Five: Rachel Langer
Rachel Langer is all about words – specifically, twisting and turning words like a centuries-old magician to bring characters to life and put them through the ringer. Rachel is a Leo Award winning screenwriter whose growing list of credits includes episodic fare like This Life, Ghost Wars, The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco, and The Order, as well as short films directed by her partner in life and creativity, Derek Langer. Her storytelling crosses genres and platforms, and wherever she happens to be writing, she infuses the characters with undeniable energy and nuance and flaws. In other words, Rachel Langer writes must-see TV. Rachel has leveraged her position in the film and television community to draw attention to the pain and stigma of endometriosis. Rachel first opened up about her long health battle in a widely circulated essay entitled “3 Surgeries, Fiery Pain, Dismissive Docs: My Life With Endometriosis” that ran in Chatelaine and Medium. By choosing to talk about it, Rachel is quite literally saving lives – while also changing the culture in writers’ rooms and on screen. In this riveting and often funny episode of the YVR Screen Scene Podcast, Rachel speaks about storytelling, writers’ rooms, Transplant, her weirdest Google searches, and the ways in which Canada is afraid of risk. Episode sponsor: Liquid Amber Tattoo and Art Collective
Dec 03 2019
Rank #18: Episode Twenty-Five: Peter Kelamis
Peter Kelamis is a comedy legend, a voice actor, and a dramatic actor who slays in sci-fi roles. His voice can be heard all over some of the biggest cartoon hits of the last two decades, including My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Beat Bugs, multiple Barbie movies, and Dragon Ball Z. He brought a searing, sneering intensity to his character the Man in the Yellow Jacket on Freeform’s sci-fi series Beyond, and infused Adam Brody, the character he played on Stargate Universe, with humanity and wit. His recent work includes The Man in the High Castle, GLOW, When Calls the Heart, Corner Gas Animated – and he somehow finds time to attend anime and Stargate conventions and host the final night of the Leo Awards, AKA the toughest room in town, year after year. Peter kicks off the second season of the YVR Screen Scene Podcast by joining Sabrina Furminger for a hilarious and fascinating interview that touches on stand-up comedy, sci-fi, immigrant parents, and the anatomy of funny.
Oct 01 2019
Rank #19: Episode Thirty-One: Mike Dopud
Mike Dopud has built an impressive career playing nuanced villains and nasty dudes on all manner of television shows – characters like Vinson, the serial killer he played on The 100 who kept his victims' hands and feet as mementos; Viktor, the high-ranking Russian mobster he played on Arrow; Ward Avery, the chauvinistic DEA agent he played on CBC’s 1970s crime miniseries Caught; or vicious drug cartel leader Jason Micic on Power, an unrelenting crime drama set in present-day New York that counts Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as an executive producer. So how did this lovely human being – an athletic Montrealer who was drafted by the Saskatchewan Rough Riders and played Vic Hadfield in the hockey-centric period drama Canada-Russia ’72 – end up as the face of evil and villainy? Mike joins Sabrina Furminger in the podcast lab to talk about playing bad guys, transitioning from sports to working with 50 Cent, and his time in the Stargate ’verse. This episode of the YVR Screen Scene Podcast is sponsored by Liquid Amber Tattoo and Art Collective.
Oct 17 2019
Rank #20: Episode Twenty-Three: Karen Holness
Before Karen Holness was an in-demand film and TV actress, she was a triple threat performer dancing, singing, and acting in top-tier musical theatre gigs like Joseph and the Amazing Color Dreamcoat with Donnie Osmond, the Canadian touring production of Rent, and an appearance in the Oscar winning film, Chicago. Today, Karen has more than 100 screen credits to her name, including Flight 93, Fringe, Arrow, Lucifer, Smallville, Big Fat Liar 2, and Katie in Hallmark Channel’s The Chronicle Mysteries – and the list continues to grow with plum roles in Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe, in which she portrays a Diana Ross impersonator who ends up in some interesting situations, as well as a recurring role on The 100 which she describes as one of the weirdest characters she’s ever played. Karen reflects on her journey from “Broadway Baby” to genre-hopping screen actress in this fascinating and funny episode of the YVR Screen Scene Podcast.
Jun 20 2019